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Birthday approaching, first since being placed with us

7 replies

EtheltheFrog15 · 19/01/2016 20:43

I'm wondering if anyone could share experiences, hints, tips and ideas on how to handle birthdays. Our child was placed with us towards the end of last year and the birthday is not far away. I'm thinking low key, but DC is already making noises about doing things with friends. I can't really ask what happened in previous years! DC is school age and settling in to the new school, though I can't really judge how new friendships are working out and it's early days anyway. DC managed the first Christmas with us really well (mostly very happy but with one understandable meltdown), but that's no indicator of what feelings the birthday may trigger.

OP posts:
MrsH1989 · 19/01/2016 20:50

Depending on age maybe something like cinema/bowling with pizza hut to follow. Just invite a handful of friends? really does depend on age

Tamponlady · 19/01/2016 21:28

Personally I would go with two or 3 friends cinema and pizza or ice skating or some such thing

MintyLizzy9 · 19/01/2016 21:47

My LO turned two 5 weeks into placement (this month) so slightly different as he knew nothing! I had a lovely day out at the zoo with one friend planned, low key, lots of bonding time etc. In the end I was too poorly to go so had the friend round for birthday lunch (lots of decs up) and my parents joined us. Hoping to still do the belated birthday day out soon but wanted to keep it low key and not to overwhelm (especially as it was so close to Xmas).

Next year we're going big Grin

Desmoulinsonatable · 20/01/2016 07:58

DD1 just had her 7th birthday recently. We took 7 friends to the cinema then Pizza. It was noisy but joyous. Only fallout was the post birthday withdrawal symptoms but she's over that now!

UnderTheNameOfSanders · 20/01/2016 12:38

DD1 turned 8 a few weeks after moving in.

I was just recovering from the intros etc when she says 'what are we doing for my party?'

We threw money at the problem and took the 10 girls in her class to local soft play.

Actually that worked quite well, as they could play 'together but not together' iyswim. And if she wanted some quiet time she could sit out for a bit not so obviously.

It also meant I wasn't 'responsible' for the other kids too much which was good as I'd only just got the hang of my two!

Was your DC in foster care last year? Can you ask FC what they did and how DC coped?

tbh I think a birthday party is part of being 'normal' and will help to fit in and cement friendships.


  • soft play
  • DVD and pizza at home
  • 3 friends to play and special tea
  • cinema (but less sociable and more stressful)
  • local activity farm (either 3 friends, or more with an provided party organiser)

I would avoid football/ gym / ice skating / bowling parties unless you know your DC will cope well with failure / disappointment if they don't do well compared with others. Bowling in particular has a track history of producing grumpiness in our house.

Good luck.
Italiangreyhound · 21/01/2016 23:46

EtheltheFrog15 In your shoes I would work out what is acceptable, two or three choices, and give your child a limited choice.

But before that I would make sure they don't talk about the party or invite children informally before you are ready to 'do' the invites.

We've had various arguments about my kids saying someone is or is not coming to their party, or someone else saying that they are not coming! It caused one major row and I think all kids do it, but it is best to make the invites official from you so you know what is happening. You can also 'try out' various party guests by having them home for play dates before you send invites to see if your child and this new one do get along.

I have generally let my kids choose who will come to their parties but I have sometimes nudged them towards someone who I know is a good friend but who they have 'forgotten'. Or included someone where they have been invited to someone else's party. I know it sounds sad, tit for tat, but to be fair when they are young friends change and sometimes it is good to just use the party as a way to make new friends! Plus if you are very friendly with a certain mum or dad, and they come to your house a lot, with their kid/s it can sometimes look 'bad' if you don't include their child in the party!

I would avoid parties at home, they are just so much hard work! If you can afford to do a party that includes someone paid to help you, go for it!! My adopted ds and birth dd (who has autistic tendencies) have had...

-Hired bouncy castle in a hired hall (WORST - I worried the whole time someone would get injured on the bouncy castle!)

-Bouncy castle in a leisure centre where the staff supervised it and we did the birthday tea (great)

-Little leisure centre activities in a hired hall, with a party helper, like those little roller carts, things to play on, we did the food (great)

-Supervised go-carts (for 10 year old) where food was provided (Fabulous but very expensive!)

-Farm party where the food was done for us (great)

-Swim party (age 8 and over, fabulous but you really need to know the kids can swim and it is quite hard to organise safely).

We did bowling with my birth child but I agree with sanders re I would avoid football/ gym / ice skating / bowling parties unless you know your DC will cope well with failure / disappointment

Hope it goes well.

EtheltheFrog15 · 22/01/2016 21:03

Thanks all for the really helpful suggestions and advice. Thinking soft play, as DC definitely doesn't cope with failure/disappointment! DC is only 3 weeks into the new school so doesn't have deep friendships yet, but we know who some of the friends are so that's a start. DC was with birth Mum last year, so no way of knowing what she has done in the past.

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